Thursday, February 15, 2007

3rd place

i spent the past week in monofeya participating in the universities championship. it was like an Olympics between the egyptian universities in all sports. i was participating as part of the chess team. team chess is no different than single player chess except that 3 players from each team play each other seperately and then the scores are added up. win = 1 point, draw = 0.5, and loss = 0. so the maximum score you could get in a match is 3 and if your team loses all its games you get zero.

before i went there i was expecting a poor city, bad bathrooms, small rooms and "prison" food....

i was optimistic.

the city sucks. the streets are a mess and there are more donkeys walking around than people.
the bathrooms were the worst i've seen in my life. there's no warm water and they actually have those "hole" toilets instead of the normal ones...these things are really disgusting and i'm yet to learn how to use them..whenever i would really have to use the bathroom i would come back home to cairo ( monofeya is only an hour away from cairo).
the rooms were tiny. 3 bunk beds cramped up in the smallest bedrooms i've ever seen...yes, that's SIX of us in a single room.
the food was terrible, serving badly cooked vegetables for lunch and potato chips with cheese sandwiches for dinner. breakfast was beans (fool) of course.

you'll be surprised to know that overall i enjoyed the experience. the competition was really exciting to play and it was a tight race for first. we were doing really good until we lost from our main competitor with a score of 2.5-0.5 which forced us to win our remaining games hoping that the first and second place teams would fall.

unfortunately they didn't and we finished up in 3rd place but only half a point behind them.

personally i played some good games, i remained undefeated throughout the tournament and i only conceded 1 draw. i wasn't playing in the match we lost as i had returned to cairo to take an exam in college that day. i think i would've made a difference since i am a stronger player than the substitute.

so like i said, i enjoyed the company and the whole spirit of the competition. we had some good laughs and i watched some beautiful chess games being played.